Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Saplings

Noel Streatfeild's unique ability to understand and empathise with the feelings of children works well in this novel which examines the impact of war on a family. Originally published in 1957, Saplings is at times, almost unbearably sad, but demonstrates what a good writer Streatfeild was. Four siblings, Laurel, Tony, Kit and Tuesday are put under immense pressure by the outbreak of World War 2. Laurel, the eldest daughter is wrenched from the school she loves and forced to attend a school she instantly loathes. Her mother is unwilling to spend valuable ration coupons on a new brown school uniform for Laurel - although she manages to buy plenty of new dresses for herself - and makes her wear her old green uniform. Sensitive and vulnerable, in her conspicuous green uniform Laurel is bullied and nicknamed The Frog while her oblivious mother descends into alcoholism. Saplings is a perceptive examination of the real cost of war.

4 comments:

Becky said...

I loved this book! And I love Persephone books too.

Vintage Reading said...

Hi Becky, so glad you've visited my blog. I'm planning another trip to Persephone this summer along with a couple of friends. I'm after Mariana by Monica Dickens. Nicola

Cath said...

I think this is my favourite Persephone so far, though admittedly I haven't read *all* that many. I found that even when I wasn't reading the book I was thinking and worrying about the children in it. I love these 'how families were affected by the war' kind of books. Wish there were more. I like you blog and will add it to my blogroll. :-)

Vintage Reading said...

Hi Cath, thank you so much for visiting me! I've not read many Persephone titles, but Saplings is certainly my favourite so far. Closely followed by The Making of a Marchioness. Nicola